SAN FRANCISCO—The Mayor of San Francisco, other city leaders and Broadway SF at the SFJAZZ Center welcomed the cast and production team of “The Wiz” to the area. Performances for the musical, is a twist on “The Wizard of Oz” that will span four weeks at the Golden Gate Theatre starting on January 17 through February 11. The cast features five-time Emmy Award winner, Wayne Brady as The Wiz, and award-winning recording artist Deborah Cox as Glinda.
During today’s event, Mayor Breed presented a proclamation to a member of the show’s production team. During its run in San Francisco, producers of “The Wiz” are planning community youth engagement events and community service projects, including a Creative Conversation featuring choreographer JaQuel Knight and other performances at The African American Art and Culture Complex on January 11 and another event at the Bayview Opera House on January 25.
Broadway SF, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and producers from “The Wiz” will be donating 100 complimentary tickets for youth ages 8 and up from various San Francisco Arts Alliance organizations.
According to a press release from the Mayor of SF’s Office, the Arts and Culture sector supports over 12,000 San Francisco jobs and, in 2022, SF saw approximately $477 million in direct spending by audiences.
“The Wiz” changed the face of Broadway—from its iconic musical score packed with soul, gospel, rock and 70s funk, to its stirring tale of Dorothy’s journey to find her place in a contemporary world. Following its run in Baltimore, the original city where the show made its world premiere 50 years ago, the tour visited Emerald cities across the country before beginning its limited engagement on Broadway in the spring 2024.
“I am an art kid. I went to a performing arts school in Atlanta and, of course, my group Xscape were discovered in high school and we were all singers. The group changed the course of my life. Not only are we still singing together today, we have all grown and taken on new opportunities. That all stems from art in my community,” said Kandi Burruss, one of the musical’s producers, singer in Xscape, and star of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”
“The Wiz is the latest opportunity for my husband and me to continue supporting the arts by opening up the doors of the theater to people who are not traditionally welcomed. Community partnership allows us to do this very thing and aligning with Broadway San Francisco and the City of San Francisco through THE WIZ is the perfect example of community partnership at its best,” Burruss added.